Build Your Own Moral Panic: A Guide

Satan!  Gay People!  Teenage Sexual Experimentation!  Are you freaked out yet?  No, and why would you be?  These are just a grouping of words with exclamation points on them to make it seem like I am yelling at you.  But if I were to add to them and say something like Teenagers are joining the Church of Satan and sacrificing animals and even people we get something like The Satanic Panic of the 1980s.   I tell you that teenage girls are putting different colors of lipstick on and blowing teenage boys to create a rainbow effect on their dicks, you get Rainbow Parties.  These are two examples of moral panics.  Moral panics normally start as some kind of urban legend that eventually gets fed into the populace as fact, via religious groups or the daytime talk show audience.  And since no one watches talk shows and God is effectively dead, it has come to my attention that America hasn’t had a good moral panic since the early 2000s.  Let’s change that.

There are two things we’re going to need if we want to get on an Oprah-esque show:  A ridiculous story and 0 supporting evidence.  We have the evidence, but now we need the story.  And how shall we create a story?  Something new, that’s how.   We need to capitalize on something recent that we don’t fully understand yet.  For my moral panic, I’m going to choose civilian drone technology, but you can choose anything you want.

Now that we have our object, who will be our victims?  Teenagers.  They’re young, they’re dumb, and they’re probably doing ridiculous shit we don’t know about already.  They have to be middle class teens too, because if our story starts in the inner city, the people that start moral panics simply won’t care.

We have drones and we have teenagers, but what do the teenagers do with the drones?  Sex stuff.  We could go with violence, but for some reason that isn’t scary enough for our timid, middle-class audience.  So, in this example, these kids are having sex with drones.  No, we’re not quite there yet.   They’re filming their peers having sex and they call it Droning!  Perfect.  It encapsulates a fear of new technology plus our fear of America turning to a dystopian, surveillance state.  And it’s starting with the children!  Gasp.

Congratulations!  You just made your first moral panic.  But how will you distribute it?   I hope your Caps Lock works.  Go on Facebook and find two unrelated photos of children and drones and, all caps of course, type your panic in.  You don’t have to be descript.  You just have to give a vague idea of what may be going on.  Your post will then hurdle through cyber-space and, after many rounds of telephone, turn into the story that makes it to your local news station, un-fact checked.  Before you know it your basic story of Droning turns into a story of how teenagers are having orgies while the drone hovers around them and films, like a perverted Cyber-God.


So there you have it.  Just follow this template and you’re guaranteed to have your mom or someone else’s mom come clamoring to Facebook with a status like Have you seen this?  Back in my day…  And it doesn’t even have to be this specific one.  You can start one about how ISIS is recruiting people using Yoga GroupOns, or how bad thing is using this new thing for something white America doesn’t like.

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